Welcome to our visual list of things that are TURQUOISE in nature!
If you’re asked to picture turquoise, chances are that you imagine the famous greenish-blue stone. Turquoise has been a mainstay in the jewelry world for centuries, and it’s easy to see why.
But you can find this striking color in more than just its namesake stone. The color turquoise is all around us: in animals, in plants, and even in the water!
List of Things That Are Turquoise
Here’s our extensive list of things that are turquoise in nature:
1. Veiled Chameleons
The veiled chameleon is one of the most popular pet chameleons. And while many individuals are pale green with some yellow markings, some morphs are a bright, cheerful turquoise in color. These are easygoing lizards who seem to enjoy human contact. Though they may not be quite as handleable as bearded dragons or leopard geckos, veiled chameleons make good pets and are relatively easy to care for, especially compared to other chameleon species.
Any list of things that are turquoise in color should include turquoise itself! We know this distinctive stone for its signature color, but have you ever stopped to wonder why turquoise is green and blue? As a mineral, it is bound to have traces of other minerals. The presence of green indicates iron, while the presence of blue indicates copper. True turquoise is fairly valuable, but some less-expensive jewelry pieces are made with imitation turquoise. Imitation turquoise is just howlite (or another light-colored, porous mineral) that has been dyed roughly the same color as authentic turquoise.
3. Turquoise Parrots
This pretty, distinctive bird looks more like a parakeet than it does a parrot. Its yellow breast darkens slowly into its green upperparts. But it is named for the blue patches on the wings and face. In some birds, these patches look turquoise. But in many individuals, the bluish patches actually look closer to being azure. Though it may not be the most famous of pet birds, it has been kept as a pet since the 19th century! Its sedentary and easygoing nature makes it a great pet to have.
4. Himalayan Blue Poppies
As its name suggests, this plant tends to have bluish flowers. But in some individual plants, the flowers are closer to being turquoise in color. Each flower has four large petals that are so delicate they appear almost translucent. Its center is also a delicate yellowish or reddish color. It is named for the Himalayas, but you can find it growing throughout Europe. Though it looks pretty in a garden, it is a perennial plant whose blooms don’t last very long.
5. Verditer Flycatchers
These beautiful little birds are unique in that they are almost completely turquoise except for a black eye patch. It’s not surprising that they can be found in Southeast Asia, a land of countless brightly colored animals and birds. They do have a larger range than you might expect, though; they live in the Himalayas and can be found in Sumatra, too. Verditer flycatchers are able to avoid competition with other flycatchers by hunting for insects above the level of the tree canopy. If you see one in the wild, it’s likely to be perched on top of a tree!
6. The Caribbean Sea
The warm, tranquil waters around the Caribbean Islands look a lot different than most of the ocean. Often, the water is bright turquoise, a color that looks striking against the soft white sand of the beaches. But why? Much of that has to do with the white sand. When light reaches down through the sea, it reflects off the sandy seafloor. The reflected wavelengths are predominately green and blue. As you’ve likely noticed, the shallower parts of the sea are more greenish, while deeper areas are more blue.
7. Blue Pit Vipers
The spectacular blue pit viper looks more like a statue than it does a living creature. It’s one of the few turquoise-colored reptiles out there. And while you might think the name means it lives in pits, “pit viper” actually refers to heat-sensing pit organs on each side of the head. These organs are especially useful when the snake is hunting, as they can help it sense even camouflaged prey.
8. Malabar Flying Tree Frogs
Not all of these unique-looking frogs are turquoise in color. Many are a more typical spring green. But regardless of the color, the Malabar flying tree frog can make some truly impressive gliding jumps like a flying squirrel. The jumps can reach 9-12 meters! The frog’s webbed feet are mango-orange in color, and that bright color contrasts beautifully with the turquoise (or bright green) color of the rest of the body.
9. Panther Chameleons
If you have any experience in the reptile hobby, you’ve almost certainly heard of panther chameleons. They are probably the most colorful reptile in the world. Even in nature, their colors vary considerably. And in captivity, breeders have worked to develop seemingly endless dazzling colors. Most of these lizards are marked with a whole range of colors. But as you can see in the picture, it’s not unusual to find one that’s almost entirely turquoise.
Since turquoise is a naturally-occurring mineral, it’s probably not surprising that there are other minerals out there that look similar to it. Amazonite is a greenish-blue stone that is often turquoise in color. It isn’t hugely popular as a gemstone, but it is a great choice if you want an inexpensive gemstone that doesn’t look cheap or fake. The name comes from the fact that the first Amazonite stones were likely found in the Amazon River. However, experts now know that it occurs naturally in many different locations.
11. Lake Louise
This stunning turquoise lake is a naturally-occurring lake in Canada’s Banff National Park. Many of us associate turquoise water with tropical areas, but glacial lakes like this one are often the same color. That’s because of rock flour, or finely-ground rock particles found in the melted ice from nearby glaciers. Like many lakes in the park, Lake Louise is a destination for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, kayaking, and canoeing.
12. Blue-Spotted Tree Monitors
Most of the impressively-sized monitor lizards are quite dull in color, but the blue-spotted tree monitor is a notable exception. Many of these lizards are closer to being patterned with royal blue than with turquoise. But as you can see in the photo, some individuals have stunning turquoise mottling. Like many brilliantly-colored lizards, this one only occurs naturally in a very small area. If you want to see one in the wild, you’ll need to go to the small island of Batanta in Indonesia.
13. Turquoise Blue Butterflies
Few cultivated flowers are as immediately recognizable as the tulip. Often considered to be a harbinger of spring, the tulip is a flower that comes in vast color variations. They can be found in just about every color variety except for pure blue. Some, like the one in the picture, are fairly close to being blue, but they have a faint undertone of purple. The cultivation of tulips has now extended far beyond just color; some cultivars have sharply pointed petals while others have a more open, star-like flower shape.
14. Giant Asian Shield Mantises
These striking creatures are much larger than many other mantis species, as they can grow to around 4″ and tend to have very thick bodies. You can find them in both China and Thailand. The “shield” part of the name comes from the distinctive body shape. If you look down on one of these creatures from above, you’ll see that the top portion of the body is shield-shaped. As with many creatures on the list, this species does vary a good bit in color. But some, like the mantis in the picture, are truly bright turquoise in color.
15. Turquoise-Browed Motmots
Though the name implies that the brow is the only turquoise part of these birds, turquoise-browed motmots also have bright turquoise patches on the wings and tail. Both males and females have a “racketed tail.” That means that there is a patch of tail where there is only the feather shaft. The feathering becomes normal again at the end of the tail. Experts believe that these birds “wag” the tail as a signal to predators that they have been spotted. Male birds also use tail length to attract potential mates.
16. Green-and-Black Poison Dart Frogs
This distinctive frog might be mistaken for a toy at first! It is blotched in black and pale green, although individual frogs show a huge variation in coloring. The green portion can be blue, turquoise, lime green, forest green, or even yellow. These frogs release venom when they are threatened, and one frog has enough venom to cause cardiac arrest in a human. However, keeping them in captivity is generally safe. The frogs likely get the venom from what they eat in the wild, as they stop being toxic when in captivity.
17. Blue-Crested Lizards
This striking and highly unusual-looking lizard is also called the Indo-Chinese forest lizard. Males often have the bluish coloring the species is named for. The head and the front part of the body are marked with a color ranging from sky blue to deep blue to turquoise. Males also have a bright white stripe running right beneath the nostril and eye and crossing the ear.
Agate is a stone that comes in a massive range of colors. Most specimens look swirled with a range of colors. Often, the swirls are colors that are somewhat related: for instance, the agate slice in the picture is largely made of a swirl of cool colors. This stone can be found in just about any color. And as you can see in the photo, turquoise-hued agate looks especially beautiful when juxtaposed with white and deep marine blue.
19. Giant Blue Swallowtail Butterflies
Africa is known for some truly remarkable wildlife. And while you might immediately think of giraffes or lions, Africa has some very notable insect life too. The giant blue swallowtail is a great example. Its wings are mostly a glossy, brilliant turquoise, although some individuals are more blue. The light, shimmering color is made especially beautiful by the black outline along both the forewings and hindwings. This is one of the few blue butterflies whose bluish color comes from pigment and not from scattering of light.
Hydrangeas are flowers that are often associated with the American South. But the hydrangea genus actually covers more than 75 separate species of plants. Most of them are bushes or shrubs, but some are actually small trees. Hydrangea flowers can be turquoise, blue, red, purple, or pink. But unlike most other plants, the hydrangea has flowers that change color based on the pH of the soil. The flowers are bluish or turquoise if the soil is 5.5 or lower. A pH between 5.5 and 6.5 gives you purple hydrangeas, and a pH of 6.5 and above will give you pink flowers.
21. Fiji Banded Iguanas
The Fiji banded iguana is a truly stunning reptile. Both males and females have a bright green base color, and males are banded with soft sky blue or even turquoise. Often, that turquoise color splashed up under the chin and onto the face. Females are usually slightly darker green. They don’t have blue banding, but they often have spots or splashes of turquoise or blue, too. Unfortunately, the Fiji banded iguana is classified as an endangered species.
22. Swallow Tanagers
Like many tanager species, this one has males that are much more colorful than the females. Males have bodies that are almost entirely deep turquoise blue. They have a distinctive, white V-shaped marking on the chest. They also have stunning, deep black faces that look a lot like bandit masks. But confusingly enough, the species name, viridis, means “green.”
23. Lake Pukaki
Lake Pukaki is another glacial lake with a bright turquoise color thanks to glacial flour. It is the biggest in a group of three lakes on New Zealand’s South Island. Like most glacial lakes surrounded by mountains, it’s an especially beautiful sight. You can even enjoy it by mountain bike, as the Alps2Ocean trail for mountain bikers follows the lake’s edge for a bit. And if you want a beautiful, clear view of a handful of especially tall alpine mountains, you can see them especially well from the lake’s southern shore.
24. White’s Tree Frogs
You may sometimes hear this species referred to by the unflattering name “dumpy tree frog.” Like many other tree frogs, this one is often green. However, some individuals are a bluish green or turquoise in color. Despite its somewhat doughy appearance, this tree frog is calm and docile. Just make sure you don’t startle it, as it will make a loud screaming sound when it senses danger. If you touch it, it’s likely to squeak. But if you have one as a pet, it will probably relax enough to even enjoy handling.
25. Robin’s Eggs
When you think of turquoise things in nature, remember that some bird species lay brightly colored eggs. And while you’ve probably heard the phrase “robin’s egg blue,” you probably know that these eggs are closer in color to turquoise. These eggs are one of the best-known symbols of spring; almost everyone is acquainted with the iconic image of a nest with a few tiny turquoise eggs inside.
26. Turquoise Rainbowfish
The name “turquoise rainbowfish” refers to this fish’s name in the exotic pet trade. It’s more properly called the Lake Kutubu rainbowfish. And like many dazzlingly colorful species, this one has a very small range. Naturally, it is only found in Lake Kutubu, a large lake in Papua New Guinea. In the wild, it is an endangered species. But its easygoing nature and brilliant, shimmering colors make it a popular aquarium pet, too. If you’re keeping a fish tank that’s a community of several fish species, this is a great one to add.
27. Blue-Breasted Kingfishers
The kingfisher family is a big one, but the blue-breasted kingfisher is one of the most colorful members. This robust bird has blue patches across the upperparts, although the patches are closer to being turquoise on some individuals. Turquoise creates a beautiful contrast with orange, so the top of the orange beak is certainly memorable. Like many other kingfishers, this one has a striking black band across the eye.
Damselflies are colorful insects that look like smaller, slimmer versions of dragonflies. They can be found all over the world in freshwater habitats. Like dragonflies, damselflies are light enough to rest on top of still water. And since they tend to stay away from very polluted water, seeing a damselfly on a given body of water is usually an indicator that it’s very pure. There are many, many distinct species of these bright insects, but a decent number are blue. Some, like the one in the photo, are striking bright turquoise. Others are closer to being glossy cobalt.
29. Collared Lizards
This colorful, spotted lizard is commonly found in desert scenes in the American Southwest. As is the case with many lizard species, male collared lizards are the most colorful by far. Their backs are often an incredibly bright turquoise and marked with bright yellow spots and bands. And of course, the bright lower body is offset by a dark marking around the neck that looks like a collar. Notably, “collared lizard” can refer to any member of the genus Crotaphytus.
You likely already know that there are a number of species of iguanas. Many species come in a range of color morphs, as is the case with a lot of lizard species. But you might be surprised to find that iguanas come in turquoise, too! The one in the photo is especially bright. Though turquoise iguanas are pretty uncommon, some specialty breeders may offer them for sale. If you want your pet to double as a conversation piece, then a turquoise iguana is the way to go!
31. Turquoise Jays
These interesting birds, like some other animal species with “turquoise” in the name, actually look closer to being royal blue. However, their coloring appears to change based on lighting. Depending on the light and the individual bird, you might see a turquoise jay in any color from actual turquoise to deep blue. This bird has an especially dramatic facial marking; it has a wide black “mask” extending from the beak (also black) to past the eyes. If you want to see one in the wild, it might take some effort; you can only find these birds in a small area of the Andes Mountains between Ecuador and Colombia.
32. Blue Apatite
Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spare, you can find many types of affordable stones to set in rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. One of these is apatite, a remarkable mineral that comes in a wide range of colors. Because it has such a color range and can come in either a translucent form or a solid-colored form, apatite is often confused with other gemstones. Even blue apatite comes in many different shades, including the distinctive turquoise blue seen in the picture. Though it’s not too expensive, apatite can be difficult to find in amounts large enough to use for making gemstones; it’s often found scattered in igneous rocks.
33. Seven-Colored Tanagers
This multicolored bird does indeed have seven different colors, and two of them are variants of turquoise. As you can see in the picture, the head, chin, and mantle are a spectacularly bright turquoise. The wing coverts are a paler turquoise. The other colors found on this magnificent bird are black, bright blue, ultramarine blue, dark blue, and orange. The bright yellow-orange rump and tail add a burst of color that forms an entrancing contrast with the rest of the largely blue bird.
34. Betta Fish
Even if you aren’t an aquarium enthusiast, you probably know that every betta fish isn’t turquoise in color. But these stunning creatures do seem to come in almost every color imaginable. The fish in the photo is a great example of how the flowing fins of most bettas show off the iridescence of their scales. Many turquoise bettas aren’t purely turquoise; you can find some with red markings, and some of them are patched with white or another color. But if you do decide to keep them as pets, be sure to separate the males, as there’s a reason they’re also called “Siamese fighting fish.”
35. Emu Eggs
Some people describe emu eggs as being simply “green,” but their coloration is a lot more complex than that. They are definitely blue-green, and the lighter ones are often turquoise in color. Emu eggs are thick-shelled and very large, and they can sometimes be incorporated into home decor. Historically, they have even been used to etch scenes and other pieces of art. The beauty of their eggs and their dinosaur-like appearance might lead you to think that emus are endangered, but they’re actually classified as being a species of least concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
36. Cracker Lake
Cracker Lake is another of the bright turquoise glacier lakes on the list. This one is in Montana’s picturesque Glacier National Park. The blue of its water comes from rock flour found in the melted runoff of the nearby Siyeh Glacier. If you visit this lake, you’ll get some spectacular views of the nearby mountains. Specifically, you can see Cracker Peak and Allen Mountain. You’ll also be able to see old mining equipment that was abandoned at the lake years ago. Cracker Lake isn’t the largest of the glacier lakes, but it’s fairly decent-sized at 0.6 miles long and 0.15 miles wide.
37. Lilac-Breasted Rollers
Birds are some of nature’s most colorful creatures, so it’s no wonder that so many turquoise things on the list are birds. This one is native to much of southern Africa, and it’s probably one of the most colorful birds in the world. The exact coloration varies by subspecies, but adult birds generally have a soft lilac-colored throat and breast. The top of its head and much of the lower body are shimmering turquoise. It’s easy to spot a juvenile bird, too, as the chest plumage is more reddish than purplish.
38. Green Hairstreak Butterflies
Despite the “green” in the name, many butterflies in this species are almost exactly the color of a turquoise stone. The green hairstreak is a bit unusual in that the undersides of its wings are colorful; the top of the wings is a uniform dull brown. The glimmering turquoise color of the undersides of the wings is caused by the microscopic structure of the wings themselves. The wings refract light in such a way that our eyes perceive the wings as being an iridescent greenish shade.
39. Green Weevils
These pretty but strange beetles are also called gold-dust weevils. If you get a close look at one, it’s easy to see why. Most green weevils are almost entirely turquoise in color, but many also appear to have a faint yellow or gold dusting across the back. Even though they’re nice to look at, green weevils can cause some serious problems; they can do major damage to foliage and will often completely defoliate small trees and bushes. In larval form, they’re also damaging; larvae live underground and will eat the roots of a huge range of plants. No plant seems to be truly safe from the destruction, as green weevils live in forests and agricultural land alike.
This striking mineral has been used in jewelry and carvings since ancient times. It’s more readily available than turquoise, so it’s a fitting substitute for those looking for something a little less expensive. Chrysocolla comes in a range of colors including dark blue, green, and blue-green. Many of the blue-green varieties are similar in color to turquoise. Sometimes, a high-quality chrysocolla stone set in silver may be virtually impossible to distinguish from a genuine turquoise stone. That being said, its composition has recently been called into question, as some research indicates that chrysocolla may simply be a mixture of a few different known minerals.
41. Turquoise Emperor Butterflies
Despite the species name, only male turquoise emperor butterflies are actually turquoise. The males have a black base color on the wings, although each wing has a dramatic turquoise streak that extends from the outer edge of the forewings to the inner edges of the hindwings. The blue and black markings are iridescent, so this butterfly looks especially stunning in the sun. But when this butterfly folds its wings, it makes it easier to camouflage, as the underside of the wings is a fairly nondescript gray-brown.
42. Paradise Tanagers
The tanagers of the Amazon and other rainforests are probably some of the brightest songbirds on earth. The paradise tanager has one of the most high-contrast patterns; its head is a conspicuous lime green, most of its upperparts are black, and its breast and abdomen are striking turquoise. Depending on the subspecies, the rump is either red and yellow or just red. This bird is fairly widely distributed in the Amazon Basin. And despite the fact that many species found in the Amazon are endangered or close to being endangered, the paradise tanager has been classified by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.
43. Blue-Headed Tree Agamas
Most of the agamid lizards are built similarly, and many of them also have elaborate color patterns. The blue-headed tree agama is no exception! It’s sometimes called the black-necked agama, as the blue head is separated from the upper body coloration by a band of black scales. Depending on the individual lizard, the head may be closer to turquoise or to royal blue. But the body also has remarkable coloration; males appear to be mottled with blue, black, and orangish. The upper part of the tail fades to plain orange, while the lower part of the tail is the same brilliant blue as the head.
44. Indigo Buntings
Buntings are some of the most colorful birds in North America. And while many of us have heard of the painted bunting, the indigo bunting is not quite as well-known. Males in the breeding season have bright blue feathering. In many individuals, the coloring is closer to the namesake indigo coloration. But in others, there’s enough of a greenish undertone that the coloring appears closer to turquoise. During the winter, both male and female indigo buntings are plain brown.
45. Green Forester Moths
You might think of moths as being dull and nondescript, but the green forester moth offers a burst of color that rivals many butterflies. There’s some color variation, but many adult moths are glossy turquoise. The wings can absorb a certain amount of water and turn a rusty red when they do, so this moth may look a little different in wet conditions. The body is a similar color, and it’s slender enough that the moth could be mistaken for a wasp when viewed from the side. Though it has become very rare in Northern Ireland, the green forester moth is plentiful in Mongolia, western Russia, and most of Europe.
46. Lake Sorapiss
The glacier lakes we’ve mentioned so far are in North America, but the striking Lake Sorapiss is a tranquil oasis in the Dolomite Mountains in Europe. More specifically, it is part of the Sorapiss range (a range within the Dolomites) in Italy. It takes some doing to get to the lake, as you can only reach it by helicopter or hiking trail. The shortest hiking trail you can take to reach it is 6.5 miles, but you’ll see plenty of unforgettable scenery on the way! The whole region offers a pleasing color palette: you’ll see the dark green of forest, the gray of mountain rocks, the white of snow, and of course the brilliant turquoise of the lake.
47. Spangled Cotingas
The spangled cotinga is one of the most intricately patterned birds on the list, and it can be found in the Amazon Rainforest. While it is not currently listed as endangered or threatened, it is often hunted for its stunning feathers, some of which are used to make fishing lures. It likely is not considered to be threatened because it is very widely distributed throughout the Amazon. The spangled cotinga does have a positive impact on the local economy, though: its beauty draws birdwatchers from around the globe, so the local area makes more in tourism revenue.
48. Mexican Alligator Lizards
Sometimes, you see a reptile that almost doesn’t look real. The Mexican alligator lizard is one of them. Its large, shaded scales make it look like a sculpture, and the blue variant’s deep turquoise scales make it look as if it’s been painted. Unfortunately, this colorful creature is classified as an endangered species. Much of its population decline is due to habitat destruction, but illegal collection for the pet trade is a contributing factor as well.
Fluorite is one of the many colorful minerals that can be found in both jewelry and in the crystal trade. Truly pure fluorite is completely clear. But as is the case with other clear minerals, slight imperfections will lead to a variety of colors. The stone in the picture is a great example of turquoise-tinted fluorite. You can also find this stone in burgundy, gold, green, teal, blue, purple, and other colors. Fluorite is soft enough that it is not often used in stone settings, but it can often be used in artistic carvings.
50. Peach-Faced Lovebirds
The peach-faced lovebird is commonly bright green. But as you can see in the photo, some individuals come in other color variations. It’s possible to find birds with soft, turquoise-colored feathering, especially within the pet trade. There are two morphs in particular with turquoise feathers: the aqua turquoise mutation and the turquoise mutation. Other interesting color morphs include the lutino (yellow with a red face), the pied green, the aqua harlequin, the whiteface violet, and the orange-face. You might think that the name “lovebird” comes from the rosy face, but it actually comes from how these birds sleep: they sleep next to one another with their heads turned to face each other.
51. Green Honeycreepers
This brilliantly-colored bird is somewhat unique in that while it has sexually dimorphic coloring, both males and females are equally colorful in different ways. Males are a lovely, shimmery turquoise with black heads and black shading on the wings and tail. They also have bright yellow beaks. Females are a very bright yellow-green. If you aren’t familiar with the species, you’d probably think that males and females were from entirely separate bird species. Oddly enough, experts believe that the purplish honeycreeper, another turquoise-tinged bird, may actually be a hybrid between the green honeycreeper and another honeycreeper species (either the red-legged honeycreeper or the blue dacnis).
Things That Are Turquoise in Nature
Compared to many other colors, turquoise is a relatively rare color in nature. But as you can see, its rarity doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find it anywhere! The next time you go outside, be sure to keep an eye out for turquoise things.
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